Each year Community Harvest Project farms thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables to donate to individuals experiencing food insecurity. The produce grown provides free, nutritious food for families in need who otherwise would not have access. The farming is done using a neighbor-helping-neighbor approach where volunteers are engaged each season to plant, tend, and harvest all crops. In the last five years, over one million pounds of fruits and vegetables have been donated.
Community Harvest Project now operates on two farms: 15 acres in North Grafton, MA and 70 acres including a 30 acre orchard in Harvard, MA. The Grafton farm focuses on vegetable production, while the Harvard orchard grows primarily fruits. In 2019 7,563 volunteers grew 94,919 pounds of produce for donation to food insecure individuals through 16 community partners such as the Worcester County Food Bank, Community Servings, and Hector Reyes House. Enough fresh produce was delivered to reach 60,000 food insecure individuals.
Community engagement is the foundational component of Community Harvest Project’s work. Members of the local community become engaged with the organization through volunteer farming, leadership programs, and partnerships. Community Harvest Project’s founding principles embrace 1) the growing of fresh fruits and vegetables; and 2) the building of community by directly engaging volunteers of all ages, all affiliations, and all ability levels in community service, and this work is only possible with thousands of community members coming together to become part of the healthy solution to hunger.
Photos courtesy of Susan Spencer/Telegram & Gazette Staff and Norm Eggert Photography
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